A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”
If retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had his way, the Second Amendment would be amended (as stated above) in such a manner to make clear that the Amendment does not protect the individual right of the people to keep and bear arms, but only protects that right “when serving in the Militia.”
The Washington Post published a lengthy excerpt today from Justice Stevens’ newly released book, Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. It’s a fascinating read as the justice lets all of us see how a typical liberal thinks, or some would say how a typical liberal justifies the unjustifiable, as he lays out his view of the history of the Second Amendment from its inception, and the implications of the relevant judicial rulings in the last two centuries. One intriguing sample:
For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”
Wow. Good thing he retired from the court. This lets us see just how easy it is for jurists with an agenda — not to mention an inability to interpret the English language — to insert opinions void from reality and that ignore the plain meaning of legal texts.
Now I’m considering buying the book to see what other great changes to the Constitution Justice Stevens would recommend.